Reliance Jio is putting all the pieces together for a mega launch of its fourth generation (4G) telecom services next year. The company has appointed actor Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador, who will unveil Jio on December 27 before the company’s employees at Reliance Corporate Park in Navi Mumbai on the eve of Dhirubhai Ambani’s birthday.
Khan, who is known to be a technology buff, said in a recent interview, “As the brand ambassador of Jio, I have worked closely with Mukesh bhai and his children on the project, which will be a game changer.”
The actor also said he was looking forward to a full-scale commercial rollout in March-April after the soft launch on December 27. When contacted, a Reliance Jio spokesperson said: “Shah Rukh is launching Jio on December 27.”
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Khan said India had not even seen the tip of the iceberg as far as digital innovation was concerned and that high-speed internet access could transform not only businesses and manufacturing, but also how people lived their day-to-day life. Khan said Ambani's three children were driving the Jio business and that there were some loose ends as far as end-use was concerned.
“After the soft launch on December 27, we will do a lot more in March/April,” said Khan. Shah Rukh Khan is also the brand ambassador for some other online businesses such as fashion portal YepMe and BigBasket. In Bollywood, Khan is known to be a marketing wizard as he has redefined film promotions with high decibel marketing campaigns. Over the years, Khan has endorsed many marquee brands such as Hyundai, Pepsi, Airtel and Nokia.
Jio was expected to launch its fourth generation wireless broadband service towards the end of 2015, but this had not happened as sources claimed that Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani wanted a “perfect launch”. With Jio’s soft launch on Sunday, the network will be tested and validated by the 100,000 employees of Reliance.
Rivals have capitalised on the delay and launched 4G services across India. Airtel launched its 4G in August, while Vodafone and Idea have launched their next-generation telecom service more recently. On Wednesday, Idea launched 4G services across five southern states, excluding the major metros and large towns.
Even though Jio is moving towards a full-fledged commercial launch in March 2016, employees are using all the digital applications already, including entertainment applications and mobile wallet. Employees are able to buy Lyf handsets within the campus at a discounted rate.
The service will be available free to employees till the commercial launch happens in March/April.